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05/31/12 12:50 AM ET

Herrera leads off, Loney moves up to second

LOS ANGELES -- With the Dodgers in a funk lately -- going 2-4 in their past six games -- and players continuing to return from injuries, manager Don Mattingly has reworked his lineup toward the top.

James Loney, who has primarily hit in the sixth spot this season, is making his 17th career start batting second and his first of the 2012 season. The first baseman has a .333 average with a .395 on-base percentage hitting second.

"I always talk about groupings and I think with this lineup, that's where he fits best and it gives me flexibility down in the order if I have to do some things because James isn't really a guy you pinch-hit for," Mattingly said.

Mattingly will trot out Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Bobby Abreu in the 3-4-5 spots. Loney will be replacing recent No. 2 hitter, Elian Herrera, who is moving up to the leadoff position with Tony Gwynn hitting the bench.

Herrera, who hit leadoff in the Dominican Leagues, went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and an RBI on May 23 against Arizona, his only time hitting first in the Majors before Wednesday.

"With Dee [Gordon] kind of scuffling and Mark [Ellis] out, it's taken those first two spots and it's different guys all the time," Mattingly said. "We lost our continuity at the beginning."

Mattingly to give Kemp days off as needed

LOS ANGELES -- After holding the longest consecutive-games streak in the Majors at 399 games, Matt Kemp's number is back down to one after returning from the disabled list Tuesday night.

Now that the streak is over, manager Don Mattingly has said he won't be as hesitant to give the center fielder a rest from time to time. However, he doesn't have any plan in place for Kemp as of now.

"I don't really have any days off in mind," Mattingly said. "We're just going to keep an eye on him. I want him to be able to say, 'Hey, I'm needing a day.' But as much as anything, I'll see Davey [Lopes] or a guy that works with him and they'll say Matt's dragging a little bit and then I start thinking about giving him the day."

Mattingly added if Kemp starts to struggle at the plate since returning from his left hamstring strain, then the manager will look into possible days off.

"Matt will play it by ear," he said. "I know Matt is going to want to play every day. He's not going to want to come out of the lineup."

"Myself, I played every day and I liked playing every day. I never really wanted out of the lineup," Mattingly added. "As I got older, I needed more days. Honestly, Matt's not really there. He's in the prime time of his body and his career and he's probably not needing days, but there are sometimes where we'll see it that he does."

Injury report: Sellers will need time to return

LOS ANGELES -- Manager Don Mattingly said infielder Justin Sellers might need more than 15 days to return from the disabled list, which he hit last Friday.

Sellers, who is suffering from a bulging disk, received an epidural shot for the pain, but he still hasn't participated in any baseball activity.

"I don't think we're on track for 15 with Justin," Mattingly said.

As for Ted Lilly and Mark Ellis, Mattingly said the doctor is expected to evaluate them Wednesday night, and then the team will figure out the next step in bringing them back.

He added he hasn't heard a timetable on Juan Uribe, but he said the infielder is going in the right direction.

The manager also said Juan Rivera is still on pace to return Friday if he's feeling good after two games with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga on Wednesday and Thursday. Rivera went 0-for-3 while playing left field and first base in seven innings Wednesday.

Ethier has busy day giving back to community

LOS ANGELES -- Andre Ethier had his hands full off the field Tuesday, spending the afternoon passing out Dodger Dogs to the homeless in downtown Los Angeles. He followed up that act by giving away 50 bacon-wrapped hot dogs to fans at the game that evening to show his appreciation.

"Luckily the Dodgers were able to let us pass out some free food in their stadium and get some of the fans a little something," Ethier said.

Ethier, who is very active volunteering in the community, donated 1,000 hot dogs at the Union Rescue Mission early in the day and he will be donating a $5,000 check to the organization as part of his work with the no-texting-and-driving initiative.

He's also working on delivering therapeutic teddy bears to a number of area children's hospitals in the near future.

"We get to play in these nice parks with the support of the fans and get paid very well for doing it," he said. "You take so much and there's so much for you that you can give back to show your appreciation and how you really care for the area you are playing in."

Doing just that may have put a little bit of karma in Ethier's corner Tuesday night as the outfielder went 2-for-3 with his NL-leading 43rd RBI.

Mattingly hurts calf while working out

LOS ANGELES -- As if the Dodgers haven't had enough players dealing with injuries, their manager is hobbled by one of his own now.

Don Mattingly hurt his right calf while working out Wednesday, forcing him to move his pregame session with reporters to the clubhouse as opposed to the usual dugout.

Mattingly, who was walking slowly with a limp, said he heard a pop while stretching and joked that team trainer Sue Falsone is going to send out a press release.

"It's not like I have to go play, so that's a good thing," Mattingly said with a laugh.

As to whether he would be able to dispute any plays on the field, the manager joked that he wasn't sure before saying "not really."

That might be a good thing for Mattingly, who paid a $500 fine for arguing a call at first base Monday night when umpire Todd Tichenor called first baseman James Loney off the bag.

Alex Angert is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.